Castle and mountains in Scotland

Annachie Gordon

Submitted by Cindy Mangsen

Child Ballad #239 exists in fragments, telling the story of Annachie and his love Jeannie, forced by her father to marry another man for his status and wealth. Jeannie tells her parents that if she marries the lord, she'll refuse to share his bed and will die for her true love.

Sure enough, she dies on the very day of the wedding, which is also the day Annachie returns from his seafaring. He dies, of course, of grief. It's a tear-jerker of a story, but when put to this beautiful melody (thank you, Nic Jones), becomes incredibly moving. Emily Friedman introduced me to this song, many years ago in Chicago.

Listen to Cindy sing "Annachie Gordon:"

"Annachie Gordon" sheet musicClick here to download a PDF of the sheet music.


Buchan is bonnie and there lives my love
My heart it lies on him, it will not remove
It will not remove for all that I have done
Oh never will I forget my love Annachie
For Annachie Gordon is bonnie and he's braw
He'd entice any woman that ever him saw
He'd entice any woman and so he has done me
Never will I forget my love Annachie

Down came her father, standing on the floor
Sayin' Jeannie's trying the tricks of a whore
You care nothing for a man who cares so very much for thee
You must marry with Lord Salton and forget young Annachie
For Annachie Gordon is only but a man
Although he may be pretty, ah but where are all his lands?
Salton's lands are broad and his towers they stand high
You must marry with Lord Salton and forget young Annachie

With Annachie Gordon I would beg for my bread
Before I'd marry Salton with gold to my head
With gold to my head and my gown swings to the knee
And I'll die if I don't get my love Annachie
And you that are my parents, though to church you may me bring
Ah but unto Lord Salton I will never bear a son
Oh a son or a daughter and I'll never bow my knee
And I'll die if I don't get my love Annachie

When Jeannie was married and from church she was brought home
And she and her maidens so merry should have been
When she and her maidens so merry should have been
She's gone to her chamber and she's crying all alone.

Come to bed now Jeannie, my honey and my sweet
For to style you my mistress it would not be meet.
Oh it's mistress or Jeannie, it's all the same to me
And it's in your bed Lord Salton I never shall be
Up spoke her father and he's spoken with renown
All you that are her maidens, won't you loosen off her gown
But she fell down in a swoon so low down by their knee
Saying, look on, for I'm dying for my love Annachie

The day that Jeannie married was the day that Jeannie died
That's the day young Annachie came rolling from the tide
And down came her maidens and wringing of their hands
Saying woe to you, Annachie, for staying from the sand
So long from the land and so long upon the flood
Oh they've married your Jeannie and now she's dead

You that are her maidens, won't you take me by the hand
Won't you lead me to the chamber where my love lies in
And he's kissed her cold lips til his heart turned to stone
And he's died in the chamber where his true love lay in

Cindy Mangsen writes: I am a singer, songwriter, guitar/concertina player who loves being part of the long chain!

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